Celine Bell reflects on September’s hidden opportunity for change
Every January we see the same tired ‘New Year: New You’ messaging. It pushes us to get to the gym, to change jobs, to start a new chapter, to turn over a fresh leaf. It’s an outpouring of clichés to an audience that is still hungover and broke from Christmas, getting back into the swing of the commute and the day job after mince pies and too much Baileys.
How many of those new year resolutions are cast off by grey February? And how much harder is it to get back into the swing of work, with its deadlines and targets and spreadsheets and meetings, when you’ve got the added pressure of a gym class to fit in around the supermarket list, finding missing mittens and taking the cat to the vet?
For me, it’s not a time to start afresh. For a start, it’s too cold and dark. I want to hunker down with Netflix, eat hearty warming foods and stay at home. It’s infinitely preferable to polishing my CV or taking a HIIT class. And besides, there are still the dregs of Baileys to finish off.
September has a very different vibe. This year my son starts school. I remember my mother dreading the August scramble round Woolworths to get new stationary, the trip to Clark’s for shiny new shoes and the new haircut that ensured you looked slightly startled in front of the school gates. With Woolworths long gone and the Ocado order bringing pencil cases as well as pizza and pineapples, it’s a less stressful end to the summer, and I intend to enjoy the preparation with my excited four-year-old.
After the love-bomb of the royal wedding, a hot, hot summer and the excitement of the oh-so-near football, it’s probably time for a new schedule. The school run will become the new norm, and bring with it new faces. My son will try new sports, and learn an instrument. And perhaps I should take his lead and try something new.
Parenting gets you stuck in a rut. Everything changes with the arrival of a first baby, and it’s easy to lose spontaneity. This back-to-school season let the browning of the leaves inspire you to make your own changes.
Best of luck from all at LoveEAST to all those starting on new school adventures in September!